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"I killed my career today" Topic

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Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2016 2:40 p.m. PST

For the past 6 years I have worked for a company that until recently was family owned. It is/was a good company with very high moral and ethical standards. It has been a company that a person can be proud to work for. We were bought out a few months ago by a publicly traded firm that is also a pretty good company. Within the company I have been seen as an effective manager and am widely respected for my work as well as my team attitude. My clients also like the results my teams have achieved so something is going right.

When we reorganized as the two companies were blended together my position as a vertical VP was eliminated. I actually agree with the logic used in the restructuring, disappointed but agree with the logic. I would've made the same decision had I been in the their shoes. The only good news is that my skills were respected and I was given the choice of taking a very nice severance package or accepting a Director position doing global program management. Being in my mid-fifties and with rather a narrow focus of business skills I took the director position. Had the the severance package been enough to retire on my decision may have been different. And today my convictions, or perhaps pride, along with a dose of inability to filter my thoughts, has alieanted me from the newly appointed president of the company.

The president was previously the Sr VP of my legacy firm and was moved up to the presidents role. He's good at what he does and was a logical choice for the role. We have always gotten along although he has always thought me to be a bit eccentric. He and I are definitely cut from different cloth. He's a fraternity guy from a prestigious school and I got my "education" from the USMC. He is a wine lover and foodie who only dines at the trendiest spots and I like my beer and greasy spoon diners. He runs marathons and bike races and I … well I wargame.

Today we were at a long term client where we accepted an award from my client for superior performance. We were one of two companies out of 3800 to earn this award. During the reception afterwards, he made comment about my lapel pin on my sport coat. It is the same lapel pin I always wear; the eagle, globe and anchor of the US Marine Corps. He said I really shouldn't wear it at client meetings or functions as it my "put off" some clients. When I mentioned that I didn't thing it was any different than the fraternity ring he wears that includes his alma mater's logo. He responded with the ring was different because not just anybody could get one, that going through Rush was grueling, and that it showed a lasting bond between him and his frat brothers. At first I thought he was joking and I allowed my disbelieve to show through when I realized he wasn't. I replied that this was my fraternity and that my Rush was twelve weeks long and that it was no picnic. He was rather dismissive of my comments and brought up that his frat brothers have accomplished a lot in business, medicine and law; that they benefit society. My response that my "frat brothers" keep his "self-indulged over privileged" frat brothers safe so they can go on to die of old age, heart attacks or cancer in their luxury houses and with their trophy wives. I finished it with asking how many of his frat brothers has he had to bury because they were doing their duty. Needless to say this didn't go over too well.

I've run across ignorant comments before so I should've handle this one better but this time it really got tome. Maybe because not too many weeks ago my son's former sergeant was killed in Iraq and my son is now preparing to head to that region in the coming months. Maybe I was tired but whatever reason, I should've Ben far more diplomatic than I was. I will have to brush off my resume and be ready because, while I make too much money for the company to be fired, I have just killed any hopes of promotions or better assignments.

Before any one says I was right to shoot back, keep in mind I have wife who needs my medical insurance and a mortgage that needs to be paid. Life's realities sometimes means that we need to hold our tongues or at least be diplomatic. I did neither.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian12 May 2016 2:59 p.m. PST

Never know, the Board might like him knocked down a peg. If your parachute isn't golden as part of this, you might look for a discrimination suit (age is a privileged class, vets might be too).

A president of a company should know better

Cold Steel12 May 2016 3:06 p.m. PST

Discrimination against a vet is certainly illegal. Given the history you laid out, it would be almost impossible for an employer to take adverse action against you and justify it.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2016 3:15 p.m. PST

I workin the staffing industry and have a little knowledge of discrimination suits as it's an item we train clients on how to avoid through proper policies and practice. Also my wife is a lawyer (no longer practicing) as are two of my four kids. If they don't fire me it would be near impossible for me to prove sufficiently enough to get enough damages awarded to make it worthwhile. All they have to do is leave me alone and deny me promotions. If the firm was still family owned I know the founder would've gone ballistic over this. However, I don't know the new board and they are located in the UK. I ha e resign myself to keeping my head down and getti g on with things until I get to retirement. C'est le Vie

pmwalt12 May 2016 3:17 p.m. PST

Good for you and I applaud your comments to your "boss". Everyone has a boss, and so does your company president. If he threatens to can you, which I doubt he will, stay calm, don't say anything and ask to leave. Then, lawyer up and then afterwards see the parent company HR seeking a redress of grievance based on your veteran's status.
Semper fi

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2016 4:20 p.m. PST

If you live in an "employ at will" state like I do you might be limited as to what you can do.

As far as your president goes he sounds like a tool. Worst case maybe be proactive with your HR and Legal Dept and get ahead of this in case there is any blowback.

Good Luck!

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2016 4:44 p.m. PST

I had my frustrations on active duty and a variety of bad commanders. Almost all of even the worst were better than all but one of my civilian bosses

zippyfusenet12 May 2016 5:59 p.m. PST

Don't give up. You might just outlast the barstool, especially if he makes a habit of being that arrogant and tactless.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2016 8:26 p.m. PST

It sounds to me as if all you face is a lack of promotion. In the way of punishment, that is. Also, you said you're contemplating retirement. So, why not just do your job and finish out the time 'till retirement? As for the kitchen hawk that is your boss…

Tacitus12 May 2016 10:10 p.m. PST

Rrobbyrobot nailed it, I think. However, in the 17 years at my job, I've agonized thinking I was done, spending weeks in misery because of a look or a few withering words. Turns out, usually I was the only one thinking about it. Hang in there.

KTravlos13 May 2016 1:14 a.m. PST

It should not be a problem. If he is a good bushiness person (And you seem to note he is), he will forget it, mayhaps even apologise. Depends on the corporate culture.

As for your reaction it is understandable. You did not do it on action time, so he really cannot hold it against you.

My hunch is it will pass with no issue.

GarrisonMiniatures13 May 2016 4:06 a.m. PST

'We have always gotten along although he has always thought me to be a bit eccentric.'

Sounds as though a bit of diplomacy would work – casual conversation 'Oh, by the way, sorry if I was a bit touchy the other day. The Marines are very important to me – in fact, my son will be shipping out to …. soon – his sergeant was killed there a while back – and that's something I'm very proud of' etc. Put exactly this way not quite right, sounds as if you're proud his sergeant was killed, but you get the idea.

genew49 Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2016 5:07 a.m. PST

As others have commented this may just disappear. Just in case it doesn't or if you want to be proactive you may want to log any oral or written communication you have with him from now on. In a week or so you may want to check your personnel file to make sure nothing has been slipped in without your knowledge. I think that GarrisonMiniatures suggestion is a good one.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2016 5:34 a.m. PST

All I can say is ride it out. I'll second Garrison Miniatures suggestion.

Edit – I forgot the most important thing that I needed to say – Thanks you and your family for your service.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2016 6:11 a.m. PST

I do agree with GarrisonMiniatures, but the timing will need to be right. Back in 2012-13 when two of my kids were deployed to Afghanistan, and the company was still family owned, the CEO would regularly email me asking how my kids were doing. I think part of my reaction was also caused by how much and how quickly our corporate culture has changed.

And thank you folks for your kind comments and suggestions. We're not always jerks to each other on TMP. 😉

Delta31413 May 2016 6:14 a.m. PST

OOH RAH fellow devil dog!! Sometimes you just have to speak your mind. Its not like he can send you to the pit, secure your liberty, or do push ups until he gets tired.If it makes you feel better I've got the same problem with filtering my comments with supervisors which sadly has led to a few $h%t details & punishments. I really need to control it though(at least for 8 more months) as my family depends on the benefits as well. You'll be good to go.

kallman13 May 2016 6:46 a.m. PST

"People Sleep Peacefully in Their Beds at Night Only Because Rough Men Stand Ready to Do Violence on Their Behalf."

Perhaps your boss needs to see and read that quote.

Great War Ace13 May 2016 6:52 a.m. PST

Good time to lose your temper, imho. Promotions are overrated As long as you have what you need, screw promotions. More work just means more stress and less of real life to enjoy….

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2016 7:38 a.m. PST

I might have laughed in his face and asked him if he had watched the news or read a newspaper in the last 75 years or so.

If I was feeling particularly suicidal I might have asked him if his considered "survey" had determined how many of his clients and fellow frat boys were veterans (or had fathers, mothers, sons, daughters or other relatives that were veterans).

You could also remind him that there is national recognition for Veterans and ask him to point where on the calendar National Fraternity Day is located.

My long term plan would be to attach two lapel pins, maybe one being the flag like the Presidents wear.

I am a veteran, usually more passive than aggressive but this is just silly.

Of course upon sober reflection, GarrisonMiniatures is probably correct. But this is still silly.

Inkpaduta13 May 2016 9:04 a.m. PST

Given the circumstances and what he said, I think you had every right to challenge his bigotry and stupidity. I would write down everything that was said and keep it handy. Keep any other such comments he has made to you as well. These would be very helpful in a possible law suit later on if he tried to take revenge.

Ron W DuBray13 May 2016 10:38 a.m. PST

Sir you need to add to this, if even in your own head. Not just anyone can wear the pin you had on, you went through Boot, you served, you learned, you put your life on the line for others. You earned the right to wear that pin. what he did for that ring was a game playing at what you did.

napthyme13 May 2016 12:21 p.m. PST

If all else fails sneak up behind him and yell SEMPER FI in his ear so that he has to change his underwear in front of everyone.

Sometimes the simplest forms of revenge is the best.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2016 1:30 p.m. PST

My response that my "frat brothers" keep his "self-indulged over privileged" frat brothers safe so they can go on to die of old age, heart attacks or cancer in their luxury houses and with their trophy wives. I finished it with asking how many of his frat brothers has he had to bury because they were doing their duty.


Respect. :)

EMPERORS LIBRARY15 May 2016 12:49 a.m. PST

If things go bad with your boss, and your parent company is now British, you can take them to the employment tribunal here in the UK!
We have quite strong employee protection laws here. UK and EU.
I believe it has been done already.

PaddySinclair15 May 2016 3:19 p.m. PST

As he's employed under US law, I'm pretty sure he couldn't take things through a UK employment tribunal. His line of appeal for a dismissal may go through the UK board however and I believe they would need to apply UK standards to hearing that appeal (though that appeal would be within the framework of his US employment contract) so long as they are not contradicted by US employment law.


Militia Pete17 May 2016 8:24 p.m. PST

Wow. I was the member of a fraternity in college, and never ever even thought of comparing it to the USMC.

Document everything that happen dates, times, witnesses. If it happens again, certainly there is HR that you can go to. Otherwise if you do get termed, you can get EEOC to sue for a) if you are over 40, and b discriminating against a vet.

Bowman19 May 2016 7:16 a.m. PST

Wow. I was the member of a fraternity in college, and never ever even thought of comparing it to the USMC.

I was not a member of either a Fraternity or the USMC. Even I would not confuse or conflate being a member of one with being a member of the other. What sort of disconnect from reality does your boss have?

The G Dog Fezian29 May 2016 6:17 a.m. PST

You still live in Onsliw County? If so I find the mans actions beyond incomprehensible. That's Corps country. Is he really that clueless?

Weasel02 Jun 2016 11:56 a.m. PST

In theory, if you get passed up for promotions that you were obviously qualified for, you may be able to prove discrimination.

In reality, the odds of proving it are unfortunately slim and it may not be worth the legal struggle, particularly since you will be in a hostile work environment afterwards.

Sorry to hear your story.

If the company is big enough to fit the "Soulless corporation" size, get in touch with HR if you feel you are being retaliated against.
HR is not your friend but they get extremely uneasy if they notice anything that rhymes with "protected class". Making them uneasy may be worth it.

If the company is small enough to still be a "family affair", then you're boned.

((and obviously, feel free to disregard unsolicited advice :) ))

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2016 2:22 p.m. PST

Say nothing more at work and start looking.

Tyler32624 Jun 2016 2:50 p.m. PST

This guy sounds like an 'elitest 'who never had to put his life on the line and showed no respect for those that have . I would have reminded him that all he has available to him today is due to the sacrifice of others so he could go to his school and bond with his "frat" brothers. Frankly I would have told him in privately what an asshat he is.

Valator04 Jul 2016 11:01 a.m. PST

Sounds like every company President I've ever worked for.

The multigenerational rich can't fathom the existence of those who aren't affluent like themselves. It's usually best to avoid direct eye contact with them and move along with your day whenever possible. They get a bit crazy when their world views are questioned…

DJCoaltrain21 Jul 2016 9:37 a.m. PST

Having worked as a manager for a couple different companies, their biggest fear is a lawsuit of any kind. Especially one that involves any kind of discrimination. HR gets all squirrely when anyone mentions discrimination. It's a nightmare for any company. Get out ahead of this, talk to an attorney, now. Then follow his/her advice.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2016 5:40 a.m. PST

Wow…. as a fraternity guy who never got to serve because of impending health concerns, I would NEVER have gone that route…. this guy is a douche!!!! Arrogant and damn.. I could go on and on!!!!!

Thank you sir for your service… what you went through in BC is way more than any fraternity pledge does.. hazing or not….. sure the bonds are great, but they are not the kind born of military service, especially during active duty!!!

I know this will mean little, but I apologize to you on his behalf and hope this goes your way. Arrogant little idiots who think being hazed for a few weeks is harder than BC… wow.. tell him to go to his safe spot or go hide behind his mommy's dress or piles of entitled wealth…. He is not worth it… or your time really.

I understand your situation and age…. AND I applaud you for standing up for your ethics and beliefs!!!

I would most certainly go to HR.. and by HR.. I men corporate HR…. well above him and file a grievance.

janner26 Oct 2016 8:25 a.m. PST

Aside from seconding Garrison's excellent advice, I would add that the UK board maybe more pro-military than your current boss. Feel free to message me if you want me to do some digging wink

Fritadas10 Nov 2017 8:30 p.m. PST

I feel like I've got a foot in both camps vis a vis your description of you and your boss. But screw your boss.

You could call me a foodie, and I think greasy spoon diners frequently have better food than trendy 'fusion' restaurants, and they don't charge $35 USD for a pair of tiny eggrolls on a huge square plate with nasty brown stuff drizzled everywhere.

Beer is better than wine and that's just science.

I wish I could have been a Marine (medically unfit). I don't wish I could have been a frat brother. I was swayed to go to college where I did by the fact that they had no fraternities. When I see a grown man with fraternity bumper stickers, rings, etc, I immediately feel alienated. I feel like this is someone who consciously decided to stop maturing at the age of 19. When I see someone wearing a marine corps pin, or tie clip, or whatever, it means that while many things about us may differ – politics, religion, feelings about pineapple on pizza, we share very important values, like dedication to our communities. Something Marines show by being Marines, while frat brothers do some Habitat for Humanity work so they don't have to give up their sweet on-campus party pad.

I really, really, really dislike your boss right now. What a Bleeped text.

Bowman11 Nov 2017 7:26 a.m. PST

Beer is better than wine and that's just science.


Old Wolfman24 Aug 2018 5:33 a.m. PST

Thinking about a career change myself soon.

45thdiv Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2018 6:19 a.m. PST

Well, it's been over 2 years now. How did things turn out?

wmyers11 Oct 2019 7:28 a.m. PST

Yes, how did they, 3 years on?

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2019 6:39 p.m. PST

I found an answer to the problem. I retired!

Wolfhag07 Nov 2019 4:52 p.m. PST

If you can't be a Marine play Rugby. I did both and the Rugby games, practices, drinking, fighting, parties and shedding blood with your fellow Ruggers is a close second to being a Marine. It has an added benefit of not having to shine your shoe, press your uniform or pass inspections.


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